City of San Diego – Housing our Heroes
In 2016, the City of San Diego and the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) partnered to launch the Housing our Heroes initiative and committed to getting 1,000 homeless veterans off the streets and into shelters or housing. This initiative is part of Housing First – San Diego, the SDHC’s three-year Homelessness Action Plan started in 2014.
The initiative involves a $12.5 million investment (from federal, city, and SDHC resources) to provide housing opportunities for homeless veterans through coordinated efforts with landlords, financial assistance and supportive services. There are four key program components:
- Landlord Outreach: Incentives are provided to landlords to encourage more landlords to rent their units to homeless veterans. Specific incentives include a monetary payment for each unit that is rented out to veterans.
- Rapid Re-housing Assistance: This component will help homeless veterans and families who may become homeless due to unforeseen circumstances. Funds can cover up-front move-in costs and, at times, rental assistance.
- SDHC Federal VASH Vouchers: Vouchers will be eligible to assist chronically homeless veterans that have both a disability and honorable discharge with rental assistance and supportive health services.
- SDHC Federal Housing Vouchers with Supportive Services: These vouchers will be available to homeless veterans that are not eligible for the Federal VASH vouchers.
Over a two-year period, funds will be allocated into these four components to help the City of San Diego provide housing for up to a thousand homeless military veterans. Since 2016, the initiative had more than 700 homeless veterans enrolled in the program.
The initiative is funded by a combination of federal resources (VASH vouchers), city general funds, and SDHC funds.